As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, it is vital that you call your health care practitioner to set up an appointment. Proper prenatal care will ensure that you optimize your chances of having a healthy baby. It is also very important to start taking a prenatal vitamin right away. Be sure to choose one made without artificial dyes and with the recommended amount of folic acid.
It’s very important to find the best care during your pregnancy. You need to find someone whom you trust; someone who will be there for you when you are in need. Choosing Your Practitioner will provide you with some valuable information about what to consider when you are trying to find someone for your prenatal care.
Nowadays, people have a choice between obstetricians, family practitioners and midwives as their health care providers when they are pregnant. Many women are rediscovering the wonderful experience of using a doula at their birth. To help you with your choice of caregiver, refer to the list in Questions to Ask your Prenatal Care Provider. Even if you are set on one type of care, it is important to read about all your options so you can be sure that you choose the best type of care for you.
If you are anxious about that first medical appointment, read Your First Medical Exam to get a better understanding of how it will be different from other medical exams. Expectant moms tend to be anxious. To help calm frayed nerves, you may want to consider having a fetal heart monitor at home.
And if you are already looking forward to that wonderful day of birth, read Birthing Alternatives. Here you will learn about different ways of giving birth that can help you get the most out of the experience.
We hope this information will help you to decide what works best. A positive pregnancy experience and a wonderful childbirth often result from a respectful and trusting partnership with your practitioner.
Revision date: July 6, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD